Davos: Russian Government Calls for International Partners in $15bn Development of Ski Tourism in North Caucasus

By North Caucasus Resorts Company ncrc, PRNE
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

DAVOS, Switzerland, January 26, 2011 -

    - North Caucasus Resorts Company (NCRC) incorporated to manage $15bn
      public-private investment in five new ski resorts in the Caucasus

    - President Medvedev: "Peak 5642 is going to transform the Caucasus."

    - Akhmed Bilalov, Vice-President of the Russian Olympic Committee,
      appointed Chairman of the Board of NCRC: "Terrorists achieve nothing
      - We won't consider for one moment pulling back from our project"

    - First phase of plans to be presented at Davos event tonight

The North Caucasus Resorts Company (NCRC), the newly-incorporated state
enterprise charged by the Russian Federal Government with implementing a $15
programme called Peak 5642 to develop mountain resorts in the
Caucasus, will tonight present the first phase of its plans to investors.

At an event taking place at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Akhmed
Bilalov, Vice-President of the Russian Olympic Committee, appointed Chairman
of the Board of NCRC, will speak about the benefits the developments will
bring to the Caucasus, and reveal the Company's plans, which will see five
new ski resorts ready to receive first visitors as early as 2014.

"Peak 5642 is going to transform the Caucasus," said President Medvedev
who delayed his visit to Davos after the bombing at the Moscow airport
Domodedovo. "It will show how we can beat poverty and terrorism with tourism.
In 2014 the world will descend on Sochi, and we want the world to keep coming

Parts of the Caucasus have endured years of armed conflict and terrorist
activity, which have led to under-investment in the region, unemployment and
emigration. It is hoped that Peak 5642 will significantly contribute to a
turnaround in the regional economy, which will bring about social benefits,
including deterrence against terrorism.

The project aims to turn the largely-undeveloped Caucasus mountains into
a world-class tourism destination. The region's proximity to Asia means it is
increasingly accessible to a large and fast-growing market of skiers, while
its 240-day winters, plentiful snow, natural spas and stunning scenery can
offer strong competition for both Russian and EU holidaymakers in the crowded
and expensive resorts of the Alps. It is also expected that the investment
will encourage more Russians to take up skiing. Currently only 2% of Russians
practice the sport.

Following Monday's terrorist attacks at Moscow airport, Akhmed Bilalov
said: "'The events in Moscow have been a terrible reminder of the dangers of
militancy. NCRC and its partners won't consider for one moment pulling back
from our project. What do terrorists achieve for the Caucasus by blowing
people up? Nothing - they are nihilists. NCRC, on the other hand, carries an
ideal to improve the lives of the people of the Caucasus."

NCRC's role is to attract and manage investment in infrastructure and
businesses in five resort areas, including at Mount Elbrus, the tallest
mountain in Europe, where the second highest ski resort in the world will be
constructed, at 4,164m. The other four resorts will be at Arkhyz (3,071m) in
Karachai-Circassia where construction began this month, Lagonaki (2,450m) in
the state of Adygea, Mamison (3,732m) in North Ossetia, and Matlas (2,767m)
in Dagestan.

The NCRC targets five million visitors a year to the region by 2020, up
from one million currently. The new resorts will accommodate up to 150,000
people a day, with hotel accommodation for 90,000 people, priced competitively
at an average $50 a night. A ski pass allowing access to all the resorts will
cost approximately $20-30 per day.

At tonight's event, Bilalov will detail NCRC's plans to short-list and
select international partners through 2011 to investors. Partners are sought
in the following categories: Investment banking, Audit, Global marketing,
Infrastructure, Environmental sustainability, Public transport, Hotels and
hospitality, Retail, Ski and winter sports infrastructure, Summer sports

Bilalov said, "There are plenty of examples from around the world of how
tourism can successfully be developed in areas with high security risks. Look
at Turkey, Egypt and Israel. We are also offering very attractive guarantees
on investments."

The Federal Government has established the region as a Special Economic
Zone, with a preferential tax, customs and visa regime for foreign workers.


For further information, please contact: press at peak5642-davos.com; For inquiries in English and French: Peter Browning, London, UK, +44(0)7760-168-969; For inquiries in Russian: Pavel Morozov, Moscow, Russia, +7-9166-777-001

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